Authored by Aaron Bugal, Field CTO, APJ, Sophos
In today’s digital era, data has become an essential aspect of business operations. With the rise in offline and online storage modes, these have become increasingly prone to cyber threats such as hacking, malware and ransomware attacks. To safeguard against such threats and protect valuable data, it is important to have reliable backups. A strong backup process guarantees that data remains secure and accessible even in the event of a cyber-attack, mitigating the risk of data loss.
Here is why having a backup process is essential:
1) Protection against ransomware attacks: Ransomware is a malicious software that can infect your computer systems and encrypt your files, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Victims may feel compelled to pay the ransom to regain access to their files, but this can be avoided by regularly backing up your data, so you can restore your files and avoid paying the ransom.
2) Restore system functionality: In the event of a cyber-attack, your computer systems may be compromised, making it difficult or impossible to access your data or run your business operations. With a reliable back up of your data, you can restore your systems quickly, enabling you to resume your business operations at the earliest, and minimize the impact of the attack.
3) Minimize financial losses: Cyber-attacks can result in significant financial losses for businesses, including lost revenue, legal fees, and reputational damage. To reduce these losses, it's crucial to have a data backup process in place. Comprehensive backups will also reduce downtime, recover lost data and resume operations quickly, helping to minimize the financial impact of a cyber-attack.
4) Improve overall cybersecurity: Regularly backing up your data helps to enhance your overall cybersecurity defences and minimize the risks of threats and data loss and should be a key component of your overall security plan.
The recent Sophos State of Ransomware report highlights the importance of having a strong backup. Its findings revealed that the likelihood of getting all your data back after paying up is very slim: fewer than one in ten (8%) got back all their encrypted files.
In fact, on average, organizations that paid the ransom got back only 65% of their data, with 29% getting back no more than half their data. When it comes to ransomware, it doesn’t pay to pay.
In light of this, here are some tips and best practices for creating a strong data backup:
1) Use a secure backup solution: Whether you choose to use an on-prem or cloud backup, it is crucial to ensure it is secure and reliable. A good backup solution is one that offers features such as encryption, multi-factor authentication and access controls.
2) Store backups offline: Storing backups offline is essential to protect them from cyber threats like ransomware. This involves using physical media like tapes or hard drives and storing them in a secure location that is not connected to your network.
3) Review backups regularly: Regularly reviewing your backups and testing them is important to ensure they're working properly and that you have the data you need.
4) Have a recovery plan: Having a recovery plan is essential. Your plan should include details on how to recover your data, who will be responsible for the recovery process, and what steps need to be taken to ensure that your systems are secure after the recovery process.
5) Keep backups in multiple locations: Storing backups in multiple locations is important to ensure that they are secure. This involves having copies of your data in different physical locations so if one location is compromised you are still able to access your data. This is particularly important if you're using cloud-based backup solutions, as they can be prone to cyber-attacks.
At a time when cyberattacks are increasing in scale and complexity, having a robust backup process is a wise decision for any business looking to secure its future. Businesses should prioritize data backups and implement a comprehensive backup strategy to safeguard their critical data and ensure uninterrupted operations.